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article imagePhoto Essay: Wall of Healing offers reconciliation, reflection Special

By Greta McClain     Jul 4, 2014 in World
Nashville - The Vietnam Veterans Memorial “Wall That Heals” offered both visitors and citizens of Middle Tennessee an opportunity to learn, remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country during the Vietnam War.
The Wall That Heals is a half scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. which has visited more than 350 cities across the United States since 1996.
The wall recently made a stop at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Nashville, Tennessee. The stop, sponsored by Tennessee State Senator Mark Green, was one of 20 stops planned for 2014.
The replica wall itself is approximately 250 feet in length, has 24 panels, each of which contains six columns of names, and is erected in a chevron-shape like the original in Washington D.C.
Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall
Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall
Although the Vietnam Veterans Memorial does not currently contain photos of those who died in the war, The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has announced a Hometown Heroes Service Learning Project. State Senator Green hopes to collect the rest of the 724 photos of the of the 1,295 Tennesseans whose names are inscribed on D.C. memorial.
The Wall That Heals also travels with a customized educational trailer. The trailer features three cut panels that rise up to reveal maps, letters, photos and other items from the Vietnam War.
Some who came to view the travelling memorial were too young to remember the war, but wanted to show their respect and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Others came to reflect and remember friends and family members who served and were lost.
Retired Lt. Gen. Hugh Smith was one of those who visited the memorial. He found a photo of Louisville, KY native, Robert Pfeister. He told The Leaf Chronicle:
Photo of a soldier whose name appears on the The Wall of Healing in Nashville  TN.
Photo of a soldier whose name appears on the The Wall of Healing in Nashville, TN.
“I was shocked and saddened. It brought back so many memories. This kid was a wonderful soldier. He was one of two in my platoon that died Jan. 10, 1968. His twin brother was severely wounded."
Green told the paper:
“The wall is amazing in itself, but with a face of that soldier, it is that much more powerful. The men and women who served in Vietnam didn’t receive the kind of support today’s veterans do. Even a simple ‘Thank you for your service’ was hard to come by.
I was one of those too young to remember the war in detail, or to remember what service members had to endure when they returned home from serving their country. I may not remember the war, I may not have lost a family member, but I was proud and honored to have had the opportunity to learn, to reflect and to shake the hand of two that did serve in the war. It may have come decades too late, but I am glad I had the chance to thank them for their service.
More about Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall, Healing Wall, vietnam veteran's memorial wall, War, Army
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